U.S. Soccer Announces Three New Full-Time Positions for U.S. Youth Women’s National Teams
Following an Initial Recommendation from the Women’s Player Development Task Force, U.S. Soccer Will Make U-17 and U-20 Women’s National Team Head Coach Positions Full-Time and Hire an Additional Coach to Assist in Overseeing Player Development for Younger Age Groups
Following an Initial Recommendation from the Womenâ€™s Player Development Task Force, U.S. Soccer Will Make U-17 and U-20 Womenâ€™s National Team Head Coach Positions Full-Time and Hire an Additional Coach to Assist in Overseeing Player Development for Younger Age Groups
CHICAGO (May 27, 2012) â€“ As part of a continuing investment in womenâ€™s soccer, U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati has announced the formation of three new full-time positions for the Youth Womenâ€™s National Team program.
Following the FIFA Womenâ€™s World Cups for the Under-17 and Under-20 age levels this coming fall, the head coaching positions for those teams will become full-time for the first time. In addition, U.S. Soccer will hire another full-time coach whose main focus will be on enhancing the player development environment for young players from coast to coast.
The responsibilities of the development coach will include scouting, running U.S. Soccerâ€™s National Training Centers, assisting coaching education opportunities, and liaising with U.S. Soccerâ€™s partners and constituents as it relates to developing players at the youngest National Teams. Additionally, this coach will also oversee the U.S. Under-15 Girlsâ€™ National Team program.
The new hires are the first component of the recommendations from the U.S. Soccerâ€™s Womenâ€™s Player Development Task Force, a group of womenâ€™s soccer experts â€“ including coaches and administrators â€“ that is led by U.S. Womenâ€™s National Team legend and current Navy head womenâ€™s soccer coach Carin Gabarra. The Womenâ€™s Task Force also includes U.S. Soccerâ€™s Womenâ€™s Technical Director April Heinrichs and Womenâ€™s Development Director Jill Ellis. As part of the Task Forceâ€™s recommendations, additional full-time positions and programming elements are being studied for inclusion in 2013.
â€œWith both our Under-17 and Under-20 teams winning their CONCACAF championships this year, we have a strong base for our youth teams and are well-positioned for the future of our Womenâ€™s National Team, but we know there is still much work to be doneâ€ said Gulati. â€œWith more full-time staff members working daily on all facets of development we are able to strengthen our approach in many areas of the youth womenâ€™s program. We want to create the best environments for our elite female players so they can excel at the highest levels. Weâ€™re looking forward to continuing the work that April and Jill have started, and ensuring we stay at the forefront of the womenâ€™s game across the world.â€
The Womenâ€™s Task Force has been meeting consistently for more than a year to study different initiatives to improve and advance the development of womenâ€™s soccer in the United States. The hiring of the new full-time positions was identified as a critical initiative moving forward and was eventually fast-tracked as an immediate recommendation. The group will continue to meet and explore other initiatives focusing on every aspect of womenâ€™s soccer.
â€œWe are in the people development business, and as such, itâ€™s critical that we build a team of experts that can further develop players and coaches in line with the tradition of this program as well as the new vision and style of play of the U.S. Womenâ€™s National Team,â€ said Heinrichs. â€œWe are looking for coaches that are great player developers and communicators who have the leadership qualities to reach out to our soccer community. These are exciting times for the U.S. Womenâ€™s National Teams with the Olympics and two youth World Cups on the horizon as we continue to work to reinforce a new style of play.â€
Both the U.S. U-17 and U-20 Womenâ€™s National Teams have qualified for their FIFA Womenâ€™s World Cups which will be held in Azerbaijan and Japan, respectively, this fall. The new full-time coaches for these age groups will be responsible for managing everything involved in the usual 18-month cycle leading into FIFAâ€™s youth Womenâ€™s World Cups.
The youth coaches will determine the schedule of training camps and matches, execute physical and technical training plans, utilize sport science tools to improve player performance and handle the expansion of U.S. Soccerâ€™s scouting network among youth clubs all over the United States.
â€œThese new hires give April and I more tools to allow us to reach a broader range of coaches and players to help keep our womenâ€™s program moving forward,â€ said Ellis. â€œTo move people we need people and having these full-time coaches will allow us to continue to form a great team that is focused on womenâ€™s soccer on a daily basis.â€
Heinrichs and Ellis will begin identifying candidates for these new positions in the coming weeks, although no timetable has been set on finalizing the new hires.